Gary Zabriskie





My name is Gary Zabriskie. My picture is shown above.   I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1959.  I grew up on the west side of the Salt Lake valley in an unincorporated area known as Granger (now incorporated as West Valley City). 

I attended and graduated from
Granger High School and then attended and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban Planning. 

I met my wife
MaryAnn (Partridge), who grew up in West Jordan, while we both worked at Harmon's supermarket in West Valley City.  MaryAnn attended and graduated from West Jordan High School.

MaryAnn and I were married in the Salt Lake LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) Temple in July 1986.   My Wife MaryAnn and I currently make our home in Santa Clara, Utah.

Since 1993 I have been employed in St. George by the Five County Association of Governments and currently serve as a Deputy Director as well as Director of the Association's Community and Economic Development Division.

The largest City in southern Utah is St. George and is located in the southwest corner of Utah along the border of northwestern Arizona. St. George is located along Interstate 15,  300 miles south of Salt Lake City and 110 miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada

As I mentioned, we live in Santa Clara City which is located just west and adjacent to St. George City. The population of Santa Clara is approximately 6,300. 

Shown below is a map showing
where we live in southwestern Utah:

This area is known as "Utah's Dixie".  The reason it is known as Utah's Dixie because the early LDS  (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a.k.a. Mormon) settlers in the area grew cotton. The temperature and climate here compared with the winter to summer seasonal extremes that they experienced before they left their homes in Salt Lake City, Utah (300 miles north) to move here was similar to the differences one experiences when traveling from the northeastern U.S. to the southeastern states.  This area because it was in the "south" of Utah and was warm and grew cotton, thus became known as Utah's "Dixie".  St.  George City is also home to Dixie State University.

My wife, MaryAnn and I reside in Santa Clara City with our cat Jordy. We enjoy the beautiful weather and scenic splendor of this area very much.  We have resided here in Santa Clara for nearly 11 years and in Utah's Dixie for the past 21 and a half years. 

MaryAnn and I are die-hard, long-time Green Bay Packers fans . We consider ourselves Utah's #1 Packers fans.  We dream of the day we can see them play at Lambeau Field (Is there anyone in Wisconsin that has a pair of game tickets they would sell us?)

Another hobby interest of mine is Amateur Radio (also known as "Ham Radio"). I am an FCC licensed Amateur Radio Operator with the FCC issued callsign N7ARE and have been an "ham" operator continuously since March of 1978.  I have held an Amateur Extra Class license since 1980.

I was first licensed as an Novice amateur radio operator during my senior year of high school (1978). My first callsign was WB7WRE.  I upgraded later that same year to General Class and changed my callsign to the new (at that time) 1x3 "N" format callsigns and was issued the callsign  N7ARE . Over the next year or so I upgraded to Advanced and Extra class. This was back when you had to be tested in front of an FCC examiner. Since I liked it then and continue to, I have kept the same callsign.

I have enjoyed over the years operating HF, both CW (morse code) and SSB (voice) mainly using very low power (QRP) 5 watts or less using a Ten Tec Argonaut and later a Ten Tec Argosy, VHF (both weak signal SSB/CW and FM), and assisting in public service exercises. I now use a Kenwood TS140S with a Cushcraft AP8  8 band vertical antenna. I use an Icom IC-703 QRP rig for mobile with a full set of Lakeview Ham Sticks. For VHF (6 meter, 2 meter and 432 MHZ) I use a Yaesu FT857D.

Astronaut Owen Garriott, W5LFL on board the Space Shuttle Columbia
during his pioneering ham radio operation on STS-9

My most memorable experience in ham radio came late in 1983 when I was able to complete a two-way contact (QSO) with Owen Garriott, the 1st Ham Operator in Space.  I was the 1st Utah ham radio operator in history to make two-way contact with an astronaut aboard a Space Shuttle. Amateur Radio has been carried aboard orbiting US space shuttles for nearly 15 years now. It all began in the fall of 1983 with shuttle mission STS-9.

The following text from the Johnson Space Center Amateur Radio Club tells the story of the first space shuttle flight to carry Amateur Radio:

"On November 28, 1983, STS-9 was launched carrying Mission Specialist Owen Garriott, Amateur Radio call sign W5LFL, and his ham radio into orbit. For 10 days the Space Shuttle Columbia streaked through the skies, and for the last 7 of those days, hams around the world were sent emotionally into orbit when they heard Dr. Garriott's voice break their squelches calling earthbound stations. But it was just the beginning. Amateur Radio had moved into its newest frontier, and it was there to stay."

Astronaut Owen Garriott on the Columbia space shuttle mission STS-9 SpaceLab-1 used a hand-held 2-meter FM transceiver with a small window mounted antenna to contact just over 250 hams around the world. 
Click here: 

to hear a "wav" file (size=355k) of the first ham radio transmission from Owen as the shuttle Columbia came across the west coast of the U.S.

It is exciting to know that the new International Space Station will have a permanent Amateur Radio station to allow the astronauts, in their "off time" aboard the station ability to communicate directly with licensed ham operators around the world.

If you are a ham operator and are coming through St. George don't hesitate to call me. I'll be happy to give you some travel information or assistance if I can. Or call me on the 145.49 (-.600) repeater.   I'm in the phone book, or you can call me at work at 435-673-3548.
Take care!

Gary, N7ARE